Monthly Archives: October 2009

Personal Training Course – Days 1&2

I want to start with this:

“Many people treat their bodies as if they were rented from Hertz — something they are using to get around in but nothing they genuinely care about understanding.”   — Chungliang Al Huang

The information we are learning is the course is based in science and training, and we are touching on each topic in such a general way that I realize that I’m going to have to work through alot of the answer finding myself.

I took several courses at Algonquin a few years back (okay, like 10 years back)…Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Counseling, and a Fitness Leader course.  It’s not like I have permanently forgotten any of it, as I still have the textbooks, etc.  I just have to refamiliarize myself with all of it.  I wondered a few days ago why I never did continue and pursue that with more interest at the time. I ended up back in Electronics….about as far away from fitness as you can possibly imagine.

Going back to the quotation, I see now how understanding the body, even in very simple terms, is lost on most people.  Or, they just don’t care.  Some people want to be told exactly what to do, because let’s face it, that’s easy.  Actually paying attention and understanding takes work.  And, understanding they whys and the whynots of something doesn’t give you any wiggle room for excuses.

For example: I don’t understand how food is broken down to give me energy.  Can’t I eat potato chips all the time and still lose weight?  “You” said that I needed carbs and fat.  Potato chips are carbs and fat.  –  Teach the person the difference between complex and simple carbs, good and bad fats, and they no longer have the excuses they once did.  “I” ate that because I didn’t know any better.  After the teaching takes place, the person may still eat potato chips, but they do so knowing full well exactly what they are doing.

Most people do know general things and food and health, but again, do they care?  It’s easier to ignore than to face, and aren’t we all like that sometimes?

It’s really all about accountability and answerability.  Who are you accountable to or answering to in your life?  Well, for the most part, and on an individual basis, it’s only yourself you are answering to for your health.  No one can force you to do anything.

Another great quote from one of the men who worked at Greco: “What you eat becomes you.”

On to tomorrow…


The art of slow…

I’ve never been one to do anything slowly, unless I didn’t want to do it.  I have to remember that I am not in competition with anyone and there is no race to be won.

With the strength training, since I cannot flex my spine like most people, and subsequently, Brad cannot see my spine flex, I have to be more aware of what my internal spinal mechanics are doing.  I live alot in my head, so you would think I would be very good at listening to what my internals are doing, but sadly, no.  The brain has a more verbal/theory language, where the body has a more physical/practical language.  By doing this strength class, I am “forced” to listen to how my body feels – to understand where the pressure is, where the stress points are.  I’ve been learning slowly but now it’s time to really pay attention.  My body is not like other people’s and I have to be aware of that.

The class if generally split in two loose groups.  One does the squat/chest press while the other group does the dead lift/overheard press.  Last class I did the squat and press.  Tonight I did the Romanian dead lift (practicing technique) , and instead of the overhead press (due to some upper back flexibility limitations) I did the bench press with dumb bells.  I started with 20lbs, ramped it up to 30lbs and stepped it back down to 25lbs.  Will be working on that over the next while.

No class this Friday due to the PT Certification.  Back at it again on Monday, and in the mean time, I continue to work on my pushups at home.

Meal 5

Tonight was my first strength classes!

And I think I will really enjoy it.  Brad has me working on lots of upper body work, and it’s making sense.  I continued on with what I have been working on and followed another women, Michelle, who’s been doing the strength class for a while now.

Strength Training

I knew last week when I had a debate with myself about how I “should” be going to Lean & Fit, that it was time for a change of my routine.  As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been doing the Greco L&F program for over two years.  It is an excellent overall cardio/strength/core workout.  All kinds of exercises that cause muscle confusion and your heart to go haywire.  I have never, and I mean NEVER, worked as hard doing that workout as I had ever in any gym, at any time, with any trainer or in a class setting.

The first night I showed up to do Lean & Fit, I was a little frightened of how fast the pace was, how the sequences worked, but I buckled down and I got through it.  As a “sitting for a living” Government employee, I had succumbed to the “50lbs” my friend said that I would gain….and I hadn’t even realized.  All the way home, I was in such a state that I don’t think my heart stopped racing until well into the next day.  It was insane.  And, I thought, how am I going to do THAT again?  TWICE, THREE times a week for the next 10 weeks?  But you know, it became a habit.  And I even participated in the running outside after class.  I didn’t get too far at first, but like everything else, I worked at it and it came along slowly…one post, two posts.

The whole process does become an addiction after a while and you just NEED to do it (or, maybe that’s just the way I felt about it…)….and now I need a new “challenge”….

I will join the Strength class for a few months and really see how far I can go.  I know that if I apply the same purpose to strength as I did to weight loss, I can do just about anything, within reason (I have scoliosis, so there are SOME limitations…).  For the most part, my back health is NO.1., but as long as there is no pain, I’m willing to push it.

Looking forward to this and all kinds of changes coming up.

Oh, and I’m doing a Personal Training Certification next weekend, and that will be fun too!

Scott Abel and James Hillman – an unlikely combination

I started reading Scott Abel‘s blog about a year ago, when I was doing some research on leadership, training, etc.  He’s a fitness trainer responsible for the MET (Metabolic Enhancement Training) regime.  Brad gave me his name and that was that….I’ve been keeping up with his blog ever since.  His writing resonates with me.  It makes me think, it usually evokes some kind of emotional response and it steps me out of my own head.

His September 2009 entry speaks to being true to yourself and your You-niqueness (love it!).

When your life is always defined by what other people have in store for you (whether a boss, a spouse, a parent), you can’t reasonably expect to be your own person – EVER.  You will always live within anothers’ expectations of what you were meant to do/be.  Stepping out as an individual and being prepared to buck the system (life is full of so many systems!) is necessary.  Scott talks about excavating your essence to find your true self and to discover your true “potential” (my interpretation).

Another writer that I simply love (LOVE) is Dr. James Hillman.  His book, The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling is along the same lines….

What this has to do with me and my training?  Well…I’m not entirely sure yet.  It’s something I’ve picked up along the way to keep in my Tickle Trunk.

CTV News at Noon segment

I was fortunate enough to be asked to be on the Greco segment for the CTV Ottawa News at Noon at the end of July.  This provides a little more backstory and context to what I’ve done with myself over the past two years.

the first pushup from the floor

Back in February, when I started my Personal Training sessions, I began working on pushups along with a number of other exercises including squats.  We really worked on squats ALOT in the beginning.  Along the way, I pickup up the kettlebell for a few weeks (double hand swing) and skipping.  I used to skip all the time as a kid.  Funny what you take for granted when you’re ten years old….

Last week I did one pushup, almost, from the floor.  Last night I did 2.  I’ve been working hard to make that happen – to achieve the real “male” style pushups – with knees elevated from the ground.  I attribute it to all the upper body work that Brad has had me do over the past few weeks.  I’ve also been practicing pushups at home every day I’m not training.  A few a day from a step about 6″ off the floor.

One step at a time – it really does work.